Sport: Cycling Deaths Call For Junction Audits

(Cyclist)

(Cyclist)

There are calls for a national audit of the UK’s most dangerous junctions after the deaths of 10 cyclists this month.

All the fatalities, including six in London in just two weeks, involved large vehicles.

Three cyclists died on one of the capital’s four so-called Cycle Superhighways – designated cycle routes into central London.

Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North, told Sky News: “We need to see an urgent review of the most dangerous junctions across the country and we need to see a proper audit of how the Cycle Superhighway scheme here in London is operating.”

Cycle Superhighway 2, which runs from Stratford to Aldgate, has recently been modified to include six bus stop bypasses, a two-stage right turn and a “cycle early start” system at Bow roundabout, which allows cyclists to wait ahead of queuing traffic and enter the roundabout first.

Another eight Cycle Superhighways are due to open in London by 2015.

However, the risks faced by cyclists on the roads can put some people off getting on the saddle altogether.

Simon Meadwell, who was knocked down by a coach on a road in Dorset three years ago, waited more than a year to start cycling again.

“Cycling offers great freedom,” he said. “You can hop on your bicycle, there’s no fuel to worry about, you’ve got the fresh air and it’s great for you.

“I’ve lost two stone (and) I feel great but I have to say at the end of each journey I’m relieved that I’m still alive.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has rejected suggestions that banning heavy goods vehicles from certain London roads during peak times could reduce the number of cyclist deaths.

Neighbouring countries which face similar issues have adopted innovative methods.

French politicians voted to allow cyclists to jump red lights, while in Norway, a suspended concrete roundabout 72 metres in diameter is reserved exclusively for cyclists.

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